1. Not the Duke of Cornwall

2. Not H.M. The Queen

3. Not the Government of the United Kingdom

Who Owns the Duchy of Cornwall?

1. Not the Duke of Cornwall

“No formal title to the lands of the Duchy of Lancaster is vested in the sovereign and of the Duchy of Cornwall in the Prince of Wales. However, neither the sovereign nor the Prince of Wales is able to dispose of the estates’ capital; they are only entitled to the annual income”.
(The Prime Minister, Hansard; House of Commons; Written Answers, 27th March 1997)
(No claim is made to state ownership).

2. Not H.M. The Queen

“Assets of the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall do not belong to the Queen or the Prince of Wales and are not theirs to dispose of”. (The Paymaster General, Hansard – House of Commons – Column 223WH, 9 July 2002). (The Heir to the Throne is born Duke of Cornwall and installed as Prince of Wales). (No claim is made to private ownership).

3. Not the Government of the United Kingdom

H.M. Treasury, in its response to a Freedom of Information inquiry, stated on 26th July 2006, “It (the Duchy of Cornwall) remains private because it has never been taken into public ownership by purchase, under statute or otherwise”. This raises the question of Cornish ownership.

4. The lucrative tin mines of Cornwall

The attraction in 1337 for the creation of the Duchy of Cornwall was the wealth accumulated by Richard, former Earl of Cornwall 1209-1272 . “He controlled Cornwall and its lucrative tin mines. He was made King of the Romans by buying the votes of the German electors”. At today’s values he was reckoned to be “worth £11.7 billion and ranked as the 25th richest in the land”. (The Sunday Times Rich List 26th March 2000). (No claim is made to state ownership).

5. Active and civilised 300BC

The wealth of the Stannaries, the tin mining industry of Cornwall, had been produced for centuries before and continued for centuries after the creation of the Duchy of Cornwall in 1337. The Stannaries, is recorded in history as active and civilised at c.300 B.C. in the pre-England period long before the incursions into Britain of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans. (The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, Barry Cunliffe, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, Published by Walker & Co., New York, 2002). The Stannaries are not recorded in Domesday of 1086. Entries in Domesday are taken as proof of Crown property.

6. Celtic rulers of Cornwall

Before creating the very first Duchy in English history, King Edward the Third of England affirmed in his Charter of 16th March 1337, “Cornwall, over which a while ago Dukes for a long time presided as chief rulers” (i.e.Celtic rulers) and, the next day, 17th March 1337, created the Duchy of Cornwall with the conditions of “for ever” or in perpetuity and that the estates revert to the Crown in the event of no Heir, or, revivification on the birth of a new first born son acceptable to Parliament, e.g., at the time of William of Orange and George the First.
7. Two hidden Duchy of Cornwall Charters

The lands and assets of Cornwall currently controlled by the Duchy of Cornwall are traceable back to William the Conqueror as part Crown lands renamed the Crown Estate. Cornish speaking Cornwall was separated from the Crown Estate in order to provide an income for the heir to the Throne and thereby avoid imposing a general tax on the English national majority. The first Duchy of Cornwall charter dated 17th March 1337 extended royal status by claiming ownership of the richest known tin producing areas of Cornwall as “Our Stannaries, for ever”. This first Charter was published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) in 1978 as Statutes in Force, Constitutional law. Historically the stannaries cover the whole of Cornwall. Cornwall is therefore the Duchy. And, on the next day, 18th March 1337, a second Charter granted the Duke the dictatorial powers of: “The King’s Writ and Summons of Exchequer and Attachments” in Cornwall only, that is, Cornwall as the Duchy of Cornwall. Duchy of Cornwall Charters number two and three of 3rd January 1338, were not published by HMSO. All three were published as an appendix to the 1828 Trial at Bar, Rowe v. Brenton, Concanen Edition 1830. (19) The Duchy of Cornwall charters two and three, which patently ignored Magna Charta, deal exclusively with the rights and powers of the Duke of Cornwall in Cornwall

8. First Duchy of Cornwall Charter impossible

“It would be impossible that the possessions of the Duchy should be so annexed by the charter in the same manner that the charter purports”. (The Prince’s Case, 1606, 8 Co. Rep.17a). (Note: Reference is made to the first charter only).

9. Impossible by the Rule of Law

“It would be impossible by the rule of law, that an estate in land should cease and revive, as by the clause of revivification is intended” (The Prince’s Case 8 Co. Rep.17a).

10. Act of Parliament by implication

In “The Prince’s Case” 1606, Lord Coke affirms: “and although it doth not appear in the charter itself by express words, that it was made by authority of Parliament, yet because many parts of it cross and change the common law, which a charter alone cannot do, and it appears by the last chapter – witnessed by the Archbishop etc., proves it by implication to be an Act of Parliament”. (8 Co. Rep. 19b). (Note: Reference is made to the first charter only and there is no indication of a reference back to Parliament for confirmation – such a reference would, in any case, almost certainly have raised the question as to why the validity of the Charters might thus be called into question).

11. Duchy Charter unknown to the Common law

“Being equivalent to an Act of Parliament, this charter has been held to be good, even though it creates a mode of descent unknown to the Common law”. (Halsbury’s laws, Constitutional Law, 4th Ed; Vol.8, para.1560, 1974 – quoting ‘The Prince’s Case, 8 Co. Rep.20a). (Note: Reference is made to the first charter only).

12. Now a reason cannot be found

In the “Case of the Stannaries” 1607, Lord Coke observes: “ “now a reason cannot easily be rendered, yet it may well be that all the land of the county was the demesne of the King and upon grant of the land the King reserved the mines to himself: for these mines of tin are of great antiquity”. (12 Co.Rep.10).

13. Absurd for the King

“It shall be absurd that the King shall reserve the emption of his own tin”. (Lord Coke: 12 Co. Rep. 12).

14. Charters or Acts of Parliament

“By the force of three Acts of Parliament , two in 11 E. 3 whereof the one is in the form of a charter by authority of Parliament by which the Prince was created Duke of Cornwall …..with a special clause of revivification although the special limitation at any time should cease”. (8 Co. Rep. 14b). (Note; This is the only reference to the other two charters).

15. King to Duke:- Do any official act in Cornwall

The 1830 Manning edition of the third Duchy of Cornwall Charter of 3rd January 1338 given in full notes: “Not in parliament, as the two preceding charters”. The Charter concludes: “Given by Our hand at the Tower of London, the third day of January in the 11th year of Our reign. The charter continuously refers to Cornwall. The following extracts to reveal the purpose behind this third Duchy of Cornwall Charter which introduces the subject of race.

“…that the state and honour of a duke might be able to maintain in a manner becoming the nobility of his race and support his charges attaching to such a high honour, did give and grant to the Duke by another charter……………..in the same county”.

“For ever to have returns of all writs of Us and Our heirs, and attachments, as well as in pleas of the Crown…….in the said county of Cornwall, so that our sheriff or other bailiff or minister of Us or Our heirs shall not do any other official act there, except in default of the said Duke, and his and their bailiff and minister aforesaid ………..may levy fines, escheats and forfeitures and have their fees and all other profits which belong or shall belong to Us in the county aforesaid “for ever” without question or hindrance from Us and Our heirs, justices or ministers whatsoever, notwithstanding Our prerogative”.

Note:- This means that the Duke of Cornwall, Heir to the Throne, could exercise virtual dictatorial powers in Cornwall without any interference from the King’s, i.e., the government’s, ministers or judges. (Refer 21).

16. Duchy is public – Lord Chief Justice

The government of the United Kingdom claims that the Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate and in so doing ignores the history of the Duchy, the HMSO publication of the first charter in 1978 as well as this important legal ruling: “The estate of the Duchy of Cornwall is one of a very peculiar nature; there is nothing like it existing in this country: it is an estate vested in the Crown. Considering the very peculiar nature of the Duchy of Cornwall whatever is done in the existence of the Duke, is to be considered in the same manner as if it were done by the Crown”. (i.e. to be treated as a public body). (Lord Chief Justice Tenderden, Trial at Bar, Rowe v. Brenton, 1928, p.152, Concanen Edition 1930).

17. Duchy hiding its history

The Duchy now claims to be a private estate. The Annual Accounts for the Duchy of Cornwall 2003 reveal:- “The Duchy of Cornwall is a landed estate that was created by charter in 1337. The Duchy’s primary function is to provide an income for the present and future Dukes of Cornwall”. (Note: There is no reference to a private estate, minerals or archaeological sites).

18. The public Crown lands

There is no reference to the Crown lands of the Monarch, surrendered for a fixed salary in 1760, now known as the Crown Estate. “The Crown Estate comprises the lands and other rights including minerals which the Monarch enjoys in her political capacity”. (Halsbury’s Laws of England Vol.12(1) para. 278 - Crown Property). The Crown Estate is a public body providing public services, such as affordable housing and community projects, throughout the UK except Cornwall? (www.thecrownestate.co.uk). The Crown Estate is required to make “Grants for public or charitable purposes, for the development or general benefit of any land of the Crown Estate” (Crown Estate Act 1961, section 4). At section 3 Management policies are required to; “exclude any element of monopoly value”. No such provisions are made in the Duchy of Cornwall Managements Acts 1863 to 1982. The Duchy of Cornwall does not provide such public services in Cornwall. The Duchy would appear to have given English Heritage the monopoly of Tintagel Castle of Arthurian and Celtic legend and other pre-England cultural assets. Outside Cornwall the Monarch’s Duchy of Lancaster and the properties of the Duchy of Cornwall are treated on the same non-monopoly requirement as those of the Crown Estate if only to avoid exposure of Duchy policies for Cornwall.


19. Why three Duchy of Cornwall Charters

Lord Coke and The Princes Case does not inquire into: The reason for three Duchy of Cornwall charters, first second and third. The second and third are currently concealed from the public by the Duchy of Cornwall and Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Did he suspect that Charters two and three were attempts to cover up the deficiencies of the first Charter?

Lord Coke and The Case of the Stannaries does not inquire into: The significance of the Stannaries Charters of 1305 and the Charter of Pardon 1508 There is no reference of a referral to Parliament for confirmation in ‘The Prince’s Case’ or ‘The Case of the Stannaries’.

Why an Act of Parliament by “implication”. (Refer: 10)

20. Magna Charter also “for ever”

King Edward the Third clearly did not intend Magna Charta to apply to Cornwall and the present government does not honour the stipulation of the “for ever” of Magna Charta while it assiduously applies the “for ever” of the three Duchy of Cornwall charters.

The possible incompatibility of the Duchy of Cornwall Charters 1337/8 with the “Confirmation of Charters” (5 Edw. 3, Ch.1) (Magna Charta) made by the King in 1331 as well as “forbidding unlawful attachments” (5 Edw. 3, Ch.9). Magna Charta, 1215, Article 52, provides, “To any man whom we have deprived of lands, castles, liberties or rights, without the lawful judgement of his equals, we will at once restore these”.

21. Without question or hindrance of our ministers or justices

The second and third Charters of 1337/8 refer to “attachments in Cornwall” – “without hindrance of our justices” etc. This would appear to sanction the: “forbidden” - “unlawful attachments” of 1331. (Refer: 15). The significance of “for ever” in relation to the common law rule against perpetuities or, limitations without end is not raised.

Magna Charta’s “The judgement of his equals” or equality before the law, is still not constitutionally guaranteed for one and all in the United Kingdom.

Lord Coke does not ask, Why only Cornwall, nor why the Duchy tax on tin production for the Cornish Celts was at twice the rate as that levied in Anglo-Saxon Devon? Ignoring this racial difference has the effect of condoning the suppression of the Cornish Celtic identity which the third Charter obviously attempts to achieve although it is not quoted.

22. Dispute between the Monarch and the Duke

Extracts from the Cornwall Foreshore Dispute between the Monarch and the Duke of Cornwall 1854-1858 – Culminating in Articles of Agreement by which the Duchy of Cornwall was awarded the foreshore of Cornwall in the Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858.

“It does not appear that prior to the Conquest (1066) the King of England held any land in Cornwall”. (Folio: 88b). There can be no stronger title: ‘the King is universal proprietor’ by the law of England, and therefore owner of all unappropriated or unoccupied soil”. (Note: Cornwall was never unappropriated or unoccupied. (Refer 24 demesne and 5, 300BC)

“The King (Edward III) held not only the lordship of the county, which Edward I had inherited from Earl Edmond, and which, as has been shown, comprised the Stannaries of the county, and inferentially form that the general ownership of the soil throughout the county, but also the assessionable manors etc. (Folio: 28m). (Note: Inferentially, the pre-England Cornish are the owners of Cornwall on the grounds of prior possession).

It was confirmed by 30 Henry VIII in Mem. Scacc. Rot.16, that Parliament enacted that the Comitatus Cornubia (Cornwall) should remain as a Duchy”. (Folio: 58m).

“It is probable, moreover, that these charters (e.g. 1261 the right of the inhabitant of Cornwall to extract sand without charge), were only a recognition of a previously existing custom or right, in the inhabitants of Cornwall, as it is obvious that neither the King nor the Earl, nor both could have legally made a grant de novo as to the lands of the other barons, knights and land owners in the county”. (Folio: 103b). (Note: Magna Charta limitations to Royal power).

“It is moreover, submitted that the three Duchy Charters are sufficient in themselves to vest in the Dukes of Cornwall, not only the government of Cornwall, but the entire territorial dominion in and over the county which had previously been vested in the Crown, with all such royal prerogatives that would naturally accompany…..enjoyed by the owner of a County Palatine”. (Folio: 09b). (Note: A case of a Duke of Cornwall claiming to be the absolute ruler and owner of Cornwall). This creates the problem of: “the exercise of the prerogative by the rightful heir out of possession is void and of no legal effect”. (3 Co. Inst.7 – From Halsbury’s laws, The Royal Prerogative, Constitutional law, 4th Ed; Vol.8). The logical conclusion is: for the Duke of Cornwall as Heir, the exercise of the prerogative would have to be effected outside the United Kingdom to be legal in English law.

23. The Bill of Rights 1688 for the Stannaries,

At the time of the Bill of Rights 1688, the Royal Mines Act 1693, the Act of Union with Scotland 1706, there was also the Royal Mines Act 1688 apparently intended a Bill of Rights for the Stannaries of Cornwall. The Royal Mines Act 1688 terminated Duchy claims to ownership of the Stannaries with the clearly defined text:- “no mine of tin shall be adjudged, taken or reputed to be a royal mine”.

Even though the Duchy had no common law right to possession, the Duchy of Cornwall has continued regardless to claim minerals as territorial possessions through a right to intestate estates and bona vacantia, (the right to the assets of bankrupt companies) in Cornwall. The three Duchy of Cornwall Charters clearly intend the dispossession of Cornish culture and assets “for ever”.
24. They began with the county of Cornwall

“Demesne land, means: land belonging to Her Majesty in right of the Crown which is held for an estate in fee simple absolute in possession”. (Land Registration Act 2002, section 132).

“They began with the county of Cornwall”. The Royal Demesne in English History – The Crown Estate in the Governance of the realm from the Conquest to 1509 – Page 53; B.P. Wolffe, University of Exeter, Allen & Unwin, 1971.

“The Crown – Voluntary registration of demesne land – Her Majesty may grant an estate in fee simple absolute in possession out of the demesne land to Herself”. (Land Registration Act 2002, section 79 (1).).

“No one other than Her Majesty may be owner of demesne land”. “Crown Estate foreshore and territorial seabed is demesne land”. “The foreshore of Cornwall is not demesne land”. Because for practical purposes it makes little difference whether our land is demesne or freehold, we have no register or organised record of which of our land is demesne land”. (Crown Estate response to a Freedom of Information request, 22nd March 2006).

The Civil List Act 1760 chapter 1, Her Majesty surrendered all income from the Crown Estates
for a fixed annual sum; “except the revenue of the Duchy of Cornwall”. (Annual income from Stannary coinage tax about £11,000.00).

25. The Wealth of Nations

Incompatible with the pseudo private estate are records that reveal: (a) that Charles the First was considered to be the victim of his own success because he thought he could rule the realm as he had the Duchy of Cornwall. (The Estates of the English Crown, Cambridge University, 1992, p.296). (b) Adam Smith provides irrefutable evidence of the significance of the Stannaries in his: ‘The Wealth of Nations’ 1776, chapter 11; the world famous economics text book, by affirming that “the wealth of the Duke of Cornwall from tin was superior to that of the King of Spain from silver”.

Both the Charles the First and the Wealth of Nations evidence suggest preparation for a political role in affairs of state as the Head of State, a political function which, we are informed, is no longer compatible with the ‘private’ elements of the British constitution. Some suggest that it is just possible that the unique letter of thanks to the people of Cornwall by Charles the First for their support in the Civil War 1643, is being nurtured by English Parliamentarians as grounds for retribution as revealed in policies intending the suppression of the Cornish Celtic identity.

26. The Cornish own the Duchy of Cornwall

Whether the Duchy of Cornwall estate is public or private, and whether the Charters are freehold, impossible or written in the Tower of London by prerogative or implied Act of Parliament, the evidence reveals a sustained official policy of maintaining an income from Cornwall to relieve the English national majority of the burden which amounts to a racist attack on the Cornish people because they are Celts. Clearly, the Duchy of Cornwall was not created for the benefit of the Cornish people. The Duchy still has its own feudal agenda implemented through monopoly powers in secret as a state sponsored private estate.

This imperialism leaves the original pre-England owners, the Cornish, with the most compelling case for the ownership of the Duchy of Cornwall based on the revivification of Magna Charta.

27. What are the principles of English Constitutional law?

Britain is a Constitutional Monarchy, we have protection for a ‘private’ Monarchy, but where is the Constitution? Is there freedom of expression in these matters?

Contact between Ministers and Members of the Royal family is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 2000 section 37 while the Duke has a list A to Z of exemptions from Acts of Parliament posted on the web-site: www.cornishstannaryparliament.org. The public is not permitted to know who instructs whom, which, is a further indication of the transfer of the Democratic rights of the British people to those in power to dispense in secret to avoid accountability

Why is the Duchy of Cornwall exempt from the Competition Act 1998, section 73? The Duke
has been accused of “exploiting the hell” out of Cornwall and, by the Royal Institute of
British Architects, of interfering in planning laws. As the government’s private estate, the
Duchy of Cornwall is given exemption from enforcement of the planning laws under
sections 227 and 228 of the Planning Act 2008, replacing thereby, the former use of Crown
immunity as an escape clause.

The H.M. Treasury letter of 26th July 2006, further reveals the government’s relationship with the Duchy of Cornwall. “The Treasury has no role in planning capital investment or any locus in the Duchy’s policy on constructing properties or making the Duchy’s properties, land, real estate assets or bona vacantia available for the construction of affordable housing in Cornwall”.

Why does the government of the United Kingdom tolerate the differences between the Crown Estate Act 1961, section 4 which stipulates public services and section 3 management policies of public service excluding any element of monopoly value for the UK except Cornwall and the absence of such provisions for Cornwall in the Duchy of Cornwall Managements Acts 1863 to 1982?

What is the British government doing to introduce the international constitutionally enforceable principle of equality before the law for one and all in order to do justice to the Cornish national minority and publish the actual history of Cornwall, the Duchy of Cornwall and the Heirs to the Throne?

It is to be found in the Constitution of the Monarchy of Sweden at Article 1/9: “Courts, public authorities and others performing functions within the public administration shall observe in their work the equality of all persons before the law and shall maintain objectivity and impartiality”? (Note: This should apply to everyone without exception).

Where is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Where is Article 13 and Protocol 12 of the European Convention of Human Rights?

Protocol 12 affirms: “No one shall be discriminated against by any public authority on any ground such as: race, political or other opinion, property, birth or other status, and association with a national minority”.

After failing to provide effective public protection from the abuse of power, the British government has apparently taken advantage of its own failures by reserving the right to discriminate and enact racist legislation, which might be applied to anyone, while the Duke of Cornwall is placed above and beyond the known constitutional principles of the United Nations, Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights 1688.
Why did the government’s Audit Commission blackmail the Cornwall (County) Council, (August 2006), into aborting its policy of collecting statistical data on the Cornish and why has a separate Census 2011 form for Cornwall, as is the case for Wales and Scotland, been refused?

Why is there a denial of the principles of the Royal Charter of Pardon of 1508 which granted the right to veto the Duchy of Cornwall to protect the interests of the Cornish people against the dictatorship policies of the second and third Duchy of Cornwall Charters?

There is no longer a case for Cornish Celtic monuments of pre-England origin to be the subject for back dating English history and claiming possession with no authority but the insecure Duchy of Cornwall Charters. These Charters, intended to impose silent obedience in the face of implied Crown infalibility, reveal aggressive English nationalist cultural policies by the Duchy in its arbitrary decision to hand over to English Heritage profitable Celtic sites such as Tintagel Castle. A court case for the theft of English Heritage signs was withdrawn on the day of the trial in January 2002 by the introduction of a public interest immunity certificate presumably, a strategy employed to avoid the counter charge of theft of Cornish heritage and cultural sites by the Duchy of Cornwall.

By implication, history suggests that the government’s policy of priority for the Duchy under the Duchy of Cornwall Management Acts 1863 to 1982 appears to require the suppression of the Celtic identity of the indigenous Cornish national minority of Britain which is now, after ten years of presenting its case, the only national minority specifically excluded by the government of the UK from the Human Rights of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

So, after six centuries, the government still refuses to admit that they are wrong about the retained and augmented feudal laws designed to exploit Cornwall, the homeland of the indigenous Cornish national minority of Britain, to provide an income for the Heir to the Throne and refuses to take the necessary action to rectify the situation by accepting a shared constitutional duty for all constituent races of Britain, of providing an income for the Duke of Cornwall, Heir to the Throne, through taxation.

“What is invidious about the position of the Duchy is its compromising of the original principle of English constitutional law, that the Monarch should be dependent on Parliament for finance”. (Who Owns Britain, Kevin Cahill, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2002).
This means that Parliament should raise taxes to provide for the heir to the throne. It is completely unacknowledged that Celtic Cornwall was targeted to relieve English people of their constitutional duty of paying taxes for the upkeep of the heir apparent.
“It is equitable that burdens borne for the good of the nation should be distributed over the whole nation”. (Burmah Oil Co. v Lord Advocate; 2 all E.R. [1964] at 357G).

If Cornish property claimed by the Duchy of Cornwall ‘for ever’ had been the property of an Irish, Jewish or Arab national minority taken to provide an income for the Heir to the Throne, it is contended that the British government would rightly be at the centre of international contempt for failing to rectify the situation.

© Cornish Stannary Parliament – March 2010

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